Many ports and navigation channels around the world suffer from silting and the presence of fluid mud layers, which can cause reductions in nautical depth. In this context, the existence of fluid mud layers makes the definition of the bottom ambiguous because the location of interfaces between water, fluid mud, and consolidated mud is dynamic. The present paper presents an integrated approach to analyzing the fluid mud layers in different port regions of South America and under controlled conditions in a laboratory column. In situ measurements were obtained with acoustic equipment, a chirp sub-bottom profiler and density profiles. The laboratory experiment was operated in a sedimentation column 4.3 m high, and dual-frequency echo sounder and density measurements were used to monitor sedimentation and resuspension events. Concerning the detection of the mud layers through dual-frequency echo sounder measurements, the high frequency return (HF) is associated with the water mud interface (lutocline), and the low frequency return (LF1) is more difficult to interpret. The high frequency recorded the position of the upper layers formed, either by resuspension or by the presence of diluted suspension. The depth measured by the low frequency can be either related to higher densities or associated with a second density gradient observed in the profiles. It is recommended to interpret and visualize the echograms when there is interference in the signal due to suspensions. The combination of techniques to detect and measure the fluid mud layers is a promising approach to empower and develop tools using fluid mud for navigation, with a potential increase in draft, as well as to define critical densities for port and channel areas, for safe navigation.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Admiraal D, Garcia MH (2000) Laboratory measurements of suspended sediment concentration using an acoustic concentration profiler (ACP). Exp Fluids 28:116–127
Allwright D (2002) The vibrating tuning fork fluid density tool. Study Group Rep., Smith Institute, London
Buchanan L (2005) Difficulties of surveying in fluid mud, the effects of bathymetry of suspended sediments in the water column. Hydro Int 9(6)
Carneiro JC, Fonseca DL, Vinzón SB, Gallo MN (2017) Strategies for measuring fluid mud layers and their rheological properties in ports. J Waterw Port Coast Ocean Eng ASCE 143. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000396
Claeys S, Staelens P, Vanlede J et al (2015) A rheological lab measurement protocol for cohesive sediment. In: INTERCOH2015: 13th International Conference on Cohesive Sediment Transport Processes. 7–11 September 2015. Leuven, Belgium
Collier JS, Brown CJ (2005) Correlation of sidescan backscatter with grain size distribution of surficial seabed sediments. Mar Geol 214:431–449
Cuchiara DC, Fernandes EH, Strauch JC, Winterwerp JC, Calliari LJ (2009) Determination of the wave climate for the southern Brazilian shelf. Cont Shelf Res 29(03):545–555
De Wit PJ (1995) Liquefaction of cohesive sediment by waves. PhD dissertation, Delft University of Technology, Delf
De Wit PJ, Kranenburg C (1997) On the liquefaction and erosion of mud due to waves and current. In: Burt N, Parker R, Watts J (eds) Cohesive Sediments. John Wiley & Sons, pp 331–340
Demarco LFW, Klein AHF, Souza JAG (2017) Marine substrate response from the analysis of seismic attributes in CHIRP sub-bottom profiles. Braz J Oceanogr 65(3):332–345
Foda MA, Tzang SY (1994) Resonant waves of silty soil by water waves. J Geophys Res 99(C10):20,463–20,475
Foda MA, Hunt JR, Chou HT (1993) A nonlinear model for the fluidization of marine mud by waves. J Geophys Res 98:7039–7047
Fonseca DL, Marroig PC, Carneiro JC, Gallo MN, Vinzón SB (2019) Assessing rheological properties of fluid mud samples through tuning fork data. Ocean Dyn 69:51–57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-018-1226-9
Gallo MN, Vinzon SB (2005) Generation of overtides and compound tides in Amazon estuary. Ocean Dyn 55:441–448. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-005-0003-8
Gorgas TJ, Wilkens RH, Fu SS, Frazer LN, Richardson MD, Briggs KB, Lee H (2002) In situ acoustic and laboratory ultrasonic sound speed and attenuation measured in heterogeneous soft seabed sediments: Eel River shelf, California. Marine Geol 182:103–119
Groposo V, Mosquera RL, Pedocchi F et al (2014) Mud density prospection using a tuning fork. J Waterw Ports Coast Ocean Eng 141. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000289
Harari J, Camargo R (2003) Numerical simulation of the tidal propagation in the coastal region of Santos (Brazil, 24 S 46 W). Cont Shelf Res 23:1597–1613
He P, Zeng J (2001) Acoustic dispersion and attenuation measurement using both transmitted and reflected pulses. Ultrason Elsevier Sci Publ Co 39:27–32
Kinsler LE, Frey AR, Coppens AB, Sanders JV (1982) Fundamentals of acoustics, 3rd edn. John Wiley e sons, Inc., New York 479 p
Kirichek A, Chassagne C, Winterwerp H, Vellinga T 2018 How navigable are fluid mud layers? Terra Et Aqua. 151. Summer 2018
Macedo HC, Junior Figueiredo AG, Machado JC (2009) Propriedades acústicas (velocidade de propagação e coeficiente de atenuação) de sedimentos coletados nas proximidades da Ilha de Cabo Frio. Rev Bras Geofísica 27(2)
McAnally W et al (2007) Management of fluid mud in estuaries, bays, and lakes. II: measurement, modeling, and management. J Hydraul Eng:23–38. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2007)133:1(23
McAnally W et al (2016) Nautical depth for U.S. navigable waterways: a review. J Waterw Port Coast Ocean Eng. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000301,04015014
Menandro PS, Bastos AC, Quaresma VS, Vinzón SB (2015) Acoustic response of Amazon shelf muddy sediments. Rev Bras Geofísica 33(4)
Muniz P, Danulat E, Yannicelli B, Garcia-Alonso J, Medinae G, Bícego M (2004) Assessment of contamination by heavy metalsand petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments of Montevideo harbour (Uruguay). Environ Int 29:1019–1028
Nichols MM, Biggs RB (1985) Estuaries. In: Davis RA Jr (ed) Coastal sedimentary environments. Springer, New York, pp 77–187
Pedocchi F, Groposo V, Mosquera R, Piedra-Cueva I 2012 Estudio de la profunidad nÆutica del puerto de montevideo. Report, IMFIA - Facultad de Ingeniería - Universidad de la Repœblica. 20, 29, 30, 31, 252
PIANC (1997) Aproach channels: a guide for design. Report of working group no. 30 of the permanent technical committee II, supplement to bulletin no. 9. General Secretariat of the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses, Brussels
PIANC 2014 Harbour approach channels - design guidelines. PIANC REPORT N° 121
Quaresma VS, Dias GTM, Baptista Neto JA (2000) Caracterização da ocorrência de padrões de sonar de varredura lateral e sísmica de alta frequência (3,5 e 7,0 kHz) na porção sul da Baía de Guanabara – RJ. Rev Bras Geofísica 18(2):201–214
Santoro P, Fossati M, Piedra-Cueva I (2013) Characterization of circulation patterns in Montevideo Bay (Uruguay). J Coast Res 29(4):819–835
Schrottke K, Becker M, Bartholomä A, Flemming BW, Hebbeln D (2006) Fluid mud dynamics in the Weser estuary turbidity zone tracked by high-resolution side-scan sonar and parametric sub-bottom profiler. Geo Marine Lett 26(3):185–198
Souza LAP (2008) A investigação sísmica de áreas submersas rasas: Parte 1 – Fundamentos e Demandas. Bol Soc Bras Geofísica 2:11–19
Thorne PD, Hanes DM (2002) A review of acoustic measurement of small-scale sediment processes. Cont Shelf Res 22:603–632
Thorne PD, Vincent CE, Hardcastle PJ, Rehman S, Pearson N (1991) Measuring suspended sediment concentrations using acoustic backscatter devices. Mar Geol 98:7–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/0025-3227(91)90031-X
USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) et al (2002) Depth measurement over irregular or unconsolidated bottoms, engineering manual 1110–2-1003, chapter 21. Department of the Army, Washington
USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) et al. 2005 Technical Standard for Water-Table Monitoring of Potential Wetland Sites. Wetlands Regulatory Assistance Program. ERDC TN-WRAP-05-2
Van Craenenbroeck K, Vantorre M, De Wolf P 1991 Navigation in muddy areas; establishing the navigable depth in the port of Zeebrugge ‖, In: Proceeding of the CEDA-PIANC Conference Accessible Harbors, Amsterdam
Vinzon S, Gallo MN (2016) Navigation Channel at Amazon mouth: problems and perspectives. IX PIANC-COPEDEC, Rio de Janeiro
Welp TL and Tubman MW 2017 Present practice of using nautical depth to manage navigation channels in the presence of fluid mud. ERDC/TN DOER-D19
Winterwerp JC, de Graff RF, Groeneweg J, Luijendijk AP (2007) Modeling of wave damping at Guyana mud coast. Coast Eng 54:249–261
Wurpts, R., and Torn, P. 2005. 15 years experience with fluid mud: Definition of the nautical bottom with rheological parameters. Terra et Aqua, 99(Jun), 22–32.
The authors thank CAPES - Ciências do Mar (09/2009) for their financial support for field work; CAPES and FAPERJ doctorate note 10 for the fellowship of the first author; LDSC/UFRJ (Project POLI 18254) for their financial support; ultrasound laboratory (LUS) of the Biomedical Engineering Program of COPPE/UFRJ for the acoustic mud properties; Francisco Pedocchi and Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de la República for the Uruguay data; and INTERCOH 2017 for the motivation and support.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on the 14th International Conference on Cohesive Sediment Transport in Montevideo, Uruguay 13-17 November 2017
Responsible Editor: Francisco Pedocchi
About this article
Cite this article
Carneiro, J.C., Gallo, M.N. & Vinzón, S.B. Detection of fluid mud layers using tuning fork, dual-frequency echo sounder, and chirp sub-bottom measurements. Ocean Dynamics (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-020-01346-8
- Nautical bottom
- Acoustic measurements